Dogs and E coli & more

berkchicks

Songster
Jun 29, 2018
156
150
131
Maryland
We are dealing with a possible E. coli infection in our flock. The sick ones have been seen by our vet and have been quarantined and are being given AmoxiClav.

What I am wondering is, the ones that are still out free ranging, if they possibly have E. coli as well, can our dogs pick it up by eating their poop or just by being around them?

We obviously have not let our dogs out anywhere near the chickens since they’ve been sick, but I would like to know if this is possible.

What about the ones that are being treated, if they get better and when we let them back out and we let the dogs out is the E. coli still in their system?

Also, no one can really tell me how E. coli works in chickens.

If these antibiotics don’t work will they die? Is the E. coli in them forever? Is it going to spread forever? Are they carriers? Will their bodies eventually fight it off? We’ve been dealing with this for over 2 weeks.

My vet is wonderful but can’t answer all of my questions. Any help would be really appreciated.
 

berkchicks

Songster
Jun 29, 2018
156
150
131
Maryland
Thank you! I’ve read that article about a thousand times lol there really isn’t a lot of information out there about ecoli in pet chickens. :confused:

Here is some good info. on e coli from a reputable source that may answer some of your questions. There are several strains, so it might depend exactly what you are dealing with.

https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/general/index.html
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,537
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
I would say anyone that comes in contact with the feces of the chickens is at risk, including dogs eating them. I would assume that if some of your chickens have it, they likely all have it as it will be in the soil and bedding of the coop and run in the feces. Some of the birds may have a higher immunity or perhaps the infection isn't severe enough for them to be showing symptoms. I would practice good hygiene and make sure to wash hands immediately after doing any chicken related chores. Based on what I have read it sounds like antibiotics may or may not do anything (unless there are other things at play) and usually the body fights it off on its own. Also hydration is of utmost importance. Hopefully your flock makes a full recovery in the near future.
 

berkchicks

Songster
Jun 29, 2018
156
150
131
Maryland
I guess the thing that I’m confused about is, and I may be wrong, is that E. coli is in healthy chickens and dogs and people. It’s only when there is a stressor that the E. coli can grow out of control.

Long story short, I believe that my flock was infected by infectious bronchitis from a neighbors chicken being in our yard.

Tests (on live and necropsied birds) show no mycoplasma and all symptoms have pointed to IB.

Some of the chickens showed no symptoms, and some (3) have died in the past two weeks

I believe that the timeline goes like this:
Neighbors chicken in yard - first symptoms appeared in about 24 hours - some sort of virus/bacteria was spread and then came the E. coli as a secondary complication.

So if the infections bronchitis, or whatever it is that came first, has run its course, then everyone who had elevated E. coli levels should eventually go back to a normal and healthy status, wouldn’t you imagine?

I miss letting my dogs out with them and they are going crazy not being able to be out in half of their yard. But I obviously don’t want to risk them getting sick either.

Water sources are abundant. I have little waterers, like for chicks, scattered throughout the yard as well as their main waters and their run. All
of which are refilled daily and also supplemented with electrolytes. Going to start everyone on a probiotic as well.

My hands are literally dry and cracked from washing them so much, also hand sanitizers, Lysol, Lysol wipes… We are like a little hospital in here LOL:p


I would say anyone that comes in contact with the feces of the chickens is at risk, including dogs eating them. I would assume that if some of your chickens have it, they likely all have it as it will be in the soil and bedding of the coop and run in the feces. Some of the birds may have a higher immunity or perhaps the infection isn't severe enough for them to be showing symptoms. I would practice good hygiene and make sure to wash hands immediately after doing any chicken related chores. Based on what I have read it sounds like antibiotics may or may not do anything (unless there are other things at play) and usually the body fights it off on its own. Also hydration is of utmost importance. Hopefully your flock makes a full recovery in the near future.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,537
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
FROM THE CDC:

Escherichia coli (E. coli)
bacteria normally live in the intestines of people and animals. Most E. coli are harmless and actually are an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness, either diarrhea or illness outside of the intestinal tract. The types of E. coli that can cause diarrhea can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or persons.

E. coli consists of a diverse group of bacteria. Pathogenic E. coli strains are categorized into pathotypes. Six pathotypes are associated with diarrhea and collectively are referred to as diarrheagenic E. coli.

  • Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)—STEC may also be referred to as Verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) or enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). This pathotype is the one most commonly heard about in the news in association with foodborne outbreaks.
  • Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)
  • Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC)
  • Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC)
  • Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC)
  • Diffusely adherent E. coli (DAEC)



Sooooo... there are many strains of E.Coli, some of which are present in the intestines of almost all animals all the time and do NOT cause illness, 6 of which CAN cause illness, ALL of which can be transmitted to other animals via feces. So if it's a strain of e. coli that causes illness then time will tell whether or not your chickens can fight it off and others are at risk of contracting it and becoming ill. I do not know the results of the tests your vet performed or enough about the different strains to say much more than that. Also I do not agree with this statement "So if the infections bronchitis, or whatever it is that came first, has run its course, then everyone who had elevated E. coli levels should eventually go back to a normal and healthy status, wouldn’t you imagine?" Your birds have two different infections. Just because one is cured does not mean the other one is cured. When we (or our birds) get sick, we are run down, our immune systems are compromised, and it's easy for us to catch and become infected by the next thing that come around, but the ailments are caused by the same virus or bacteria and curing one does not automatically cure the other.
 

berkchicks

Songster
Jun 29, 2018
156
150
131
Maryland
Gotcha. OK. This makes sense to me. I really appreciate it. I don’t know offhand what strain of E. coli it is. I will definitely ask and find out though. Thanks again for your help. :)
FROM THE CDC:

Escherichia coli (E. coli)
bacteria normally live in the intestines of people and animals. Most E. coli are harmless and actually are an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness, either diarrhea or illness outside of the intestinal tract. The types of E. coli that can cause diarrhea can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or persons.

E. coli consists of a diverse group of bacteria. Pathogenic E. coli strains are categorized into pathotypes. Six pathotypes are associated with diarrhea and collectively are referred to as diarrheagenic E. coli.

  • Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)—STEC may also be referred to as Verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) or enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). This pathotype is the one most commonly heard about in the news in association with foodborne outbreaks.
  • Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)
  • Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC)
  • Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC)
  • Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC)
  • Diffusely adherent E. coli (DAEC)



Sooooo... there are many strains of E.Coli, some of which are present in the intestines of almost all animals all the time and do NOT cause illness, 6 of which CAN cause illness, ALL of which can be transmitted to other animals via feces. So if it's a strain of e. coli that causes illness then time will tell whether or not your chickens can fight it off and others are at risk of contracting it and becoming ill. I do not know the results of the tests your vet performed or enough about the different strains to say much more than that. Also I do not agree with this statement "So if the infections bronchitis, or whatever it is that came first, has run its course, then everyone who had elevated E. coli levels should eventually go back to a normal and healthy status, wouldn’t you imagine?" Your birds have two different infections. Just because one is cured does not mean the other one is cured. When we (or our birds) get sick, we are run down, our immune systems are compromised, and it's easy for us to catch and become infected by the next thing that come around, but the ailments are caused by the same virus or bacteria and curing one does not automatically cure the other.
 

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